New boss, even worse results.
Cable news giant CNN has seen its viewership fall in recent weeks under the helm of newly installed network president Chris Licht, according to the latest Nielsen ratings.
CNN’s viewership dipped during the month of June compared to the previous month — despite the network’s intensive coverage of the ongoing House committee hearings into the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the US Capitol.
In June, CNN’s primetime lineup drew 654,000 total viewers on average per night. Of those viewers, just 148,000 are between the ages of 25 and 54 — the key demographic that is most coveted by advertisers.
The numbers represent a 1% drop compared to May, according to The Daily Beast.
CNN’s daytime lineup is also hemorrhaging viewers, the latest data shows.
The audience tuning in to the network shrank 3% month-over-month in June to 487,000 total viewers per day — as well as 2% to 104,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic.
During the week of June 13 to June 19, when the network intensely focused its coverage on the Jan. 6 hearings, it mustered up an average of just 480,000 viewers overall — a 13% drop from its May numbers.
The week of June 13 represented CNN’s lowest daytime audience draw since Nov. 2015.
Conversely, MSNBC, which is CNN’s main competition for liberal-leaning viewers, had a banner month in June as viewers flocked to the Comcast-owned outfit for coverage and analysis of the House hearings.
MSNBC’s daytime coverage of the hearings netted it an average of 767,000 viewers, which was second most among all basic cable channels. That’s a 21% increase from its average daytime viewership in May.
The network also boasts a total audience of 3 million people who tuned in to watch the hearings.
MSNBC’s primetime also benefited from the Jan. 6 drama, as the network average 1.28 million viewers, good for second place.
In total, MSNBC had a 30% boost in primetime audience as well as a 23% increase in the number of its daytime viewers for the month of June.
Both MSNBC and CNN trail the ratings king of cable news, the Fox News Channel, which is owned by Fox Corp., the sister company of The Post’s parent News Corp.
Licht was tapped to lead CNN, succeeding Jeff Zucker, who stepped down just weeks before the newly merged entity Discovery Warner Bros. took the reins of the network and its sister media properties.
The former executive producer of Stephen Colbert’s late-night CBS show wants to steer CNN away from partisan and opinionated commentary and more toward hard news.
According to the online news site Mediaite, Licht has instructed CNN producers to avoid describing former President Donald Trump’s claims of voter fraud during the 2020 election as “the big lie.”
The CNN president suggested that shows should instead refer to Trump’s disproven claims as “Trump election lie” or “election lies.”
Licht asserted that using the phrase “the big lie” essentially parroted the Democratic Party’s “branding” and hurt CNN’s objectivity when covering the topic.
Licht is also reportedly monitoring CNN’s top anchors — including personalities such as Brian Stelter and Jim Acosta — to see if they can adhere to the network’s new emphasis on less partisan coverage. Anchors who can’t adjust to CNN’s directional shift could be forced out.
In addition, Licht has directed CNN producers to dial down the network’s use of “breaking news” banners during live coverage — a tactic that was embraced under Zucker’s watch.